Finding Utopia in Exile
"A democratic system of government was developed in the shelters through which a form of communal life was established. They [the refugees at the camps] developed cultural and educational programs for adults and children, thus ending illiteracy and developing a cadre of educators while also promoting awareness of health and nutrition.
They created a technical training school, a machine shop and many vocational training workshops, producing almost all of the goods that were needed in the camps. They wrote their own newspapers, and other publications, including newsletters explicitly directed at the international community."
-Steve Cagan, El Salvador, "The Promised Land"
The role of women was transformed at the camps as they took on responsibilities beyond housework as teachers or health promoters. The majority were women leaders who made decisions within their communities.